Make the Effort to Notice

I’ve mentioned before, I try to read the Bible every morning.  Lately, I have been reading 2 Kings.  Sometimes, I find it really fascinating.  Sometimes, I find it rather boring.  The history of the kings of Israel starts in 1 Samuel, with Saul.  I’ve continued to read these books in order, because I have become interested in this chronology.

I’m no Bible scholar.  I’m sure I miss some important information.  The names of some of these kings are very hard to pronounce, even in my head.  There were many ungodly kings, who caused Israel to sin.  Many of them were killed – sometimes by their own sons.  That usually gets my attention.

Hezekiah, one of the kings of Judah, stands out.  He did what was right, in the eyes of the Lord.  Later in his life, Hezekiah became ill and was dying.  2 Kings 20:2-6 (New American Standard Bible)  Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterlyBefore Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.  “I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”‘”

This passage stuck with me.  I mean, that’s pretty significant – God sending a message to Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, and extending his life for 15 years.  I read it a couple of times over two days, because when I returned to it, as often happens when I’m finding where I left off the previous day, I re-read a paragraph or two.

Here’s where things get weird.  A couple of weeks ago, I began helping to cover for someone in another department, who was on vacation.  I sat at a desk that was shared by a few different people.  On the first day, when I was training, I didn’t notice a plastic cup that was holding some pens.  I noticed it the second day, and I saw that it had a cross on it, which I thought was nice.  The third day, I noticed it had tiny lettering below the cross, and realized it was a Bible verse.  I took a closer look.  It was part of the verse 2 Kings 20:5.  I think it was from the NIV:  “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.”  This bothers me a little.  It’s taken out of context.  God was making this promise to a particular individual, in a particular circumstance, which is not how it’s presented here.

But, that’s not what I want to focus on.  I was floored when I saw this, because that very morning was when I read that verse for the second time.  If it had been Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV) or Romans 8:28  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”, I wouldn’t have thought too much of it.  I see these verses pretty often, and I draw on them often.  But 2 Kings 20:5?  That is not one that is quoted often, and to see it after just reading it two days in a row, when it stuck with me for the first time?  That is odd.

I don’t believe in coincidences.  I pray most mornings for God to let me feel His presence.  We have to look for those things.  I learned a long time ago, that I have to quit talking so much and keep my eyes and ears open to see and hear His presence.  When I witness something like this, I can’t ignore it.  If this is God, allowing me to feel His presence, how does He orchestrate such a thing?  Like so many things with God, it is beyond my understanding.  But, that doesn’t make it any less real.

We live on a nearly empty road in the country.  It’s part of a development, that hasn’t really developed.  But, we do have street lights.  When it’s dark, the screens in our windows make the lights look like a row of crosses.  Depending on how clear it is, the moisture in the air, who knows what else, they can look extremely brilliant at times.  I’ve tried a few times to capture this on film, but I haven’t had much success.  This is the best I’ve been able to do.

It’s more powerful in person.  As distorted as this is, hopefully you still get the idea.

God does speak to us in all kind of ways . . . through His word, song, images, events . . . if only we make the effort to notice.

 

 

 

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Book Giveaway for Mamas!

Finding Full-Time Satisfaction in Part-Time Work
(this post contains affiliate links)

Sponsored By: Beth Brykman

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

*3 Winners Will Receive*

A Copy of Beth Brykman’s New Book Titled:

The Best of Both Worlds: How Mothers Can Find Full-time Satisfaction in Part-time Work

Book Synopsis:  How can mothers bridge the gap between the worlds of “mom” and “career woman” to find work-life balance? By working part-time. This informative guide tells both stay-at-home and full-time working mothers how they can reengage or redefine their careers while still having time to care for their children. The author–a mother and a former business executive, entrepreneur, and self-employed writer–provides all the information moms need to find the ideal employment solution in today’s job market. For some women that means returning to the job market, while for others that means reducing hours with a current employer or changing jobs to obtain part-time work. The author also offers suggestions for defining personal objectives, networking, approaching job-sharing, and starting a business to help land part-time jobs.

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter

Giveaway Dates ~ 2/21 9:00 AM EST through 3/10 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received nominal monetary compensation to host this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Play by the Rules . . . or Don’t

My kids like to play games.    I’m asked to play tag at least twice a week.  I’m old.  I’m tired.  I’m lazy.  I usually say “No.”  But, I will play catch with a stuffed animal if I can do it while lying on the couch.

My daughter loves puzzles and board games.  As long as my children refrain from fighting while we play, I can be found playing Disney Princess Candy Land, the Paw Patrol Pop Up Game, or the Dino Math Tracks Game on any given evening.

Recently, they’ve started playing this “Sly Fox” game . . . I think that’s the name of it.  We saw it on Peppa Pig the other day.  I think my son said he played it somewhere else, too.  We play it inside (this week is unusually warm, but with it being February in the Midwest, we don’t get outside much).  We have a pretty large living room, and a pretty big foyer.  So, the fox faces the front door with his or her back to everyone else.  The others start on the opposite wall.  When the fox’s back is to you, you move closer to them.  When the fox turns around, if you’re caught moving, you have to go back to the start.  Whoever gets to the fox first wins.

I give in a couple of nights a week, and join them in this game.  It’s actually kind of tedious and frustrating.  The game is nothing but judgment calls.  Does blinking count?  Talking?  The fox is allowed to turn around as frequently as he likes, and can watch you for as long as he likes.  My son gets very annoyed with my daughter.  When I’m the fox, I let a lot slide.  Everyone gets frustrated, because, of course there is some part of your body that is not absolutely still, so it’s hard to make a case that you aren’t moving.

By the time it’s my son’s turn to be the fox, he is very irritated.  He sends my daughter back for every little thing, as she had for him.  I think, “Why are we playing this?  This is not fun.”  But, the last couple of times we have played, my daughter has realized, with wisdom beyond her four years, that she can’t win.  So when my son turns his back, she gives it her all and tries to run across the room in one “go”  (my children say this British term often . . . “You can have another go!”  Don’t we say “You can have another turn!” on this side of the pond?  Must be another Peppa Pig thing).  She does not even try to stop moving when he turns around.  Instead she dives toward him.  She still can’t win, but it is hilarious.  She gets sent back and runs across the room again – yelling, falling, freaking out – but the best part is that we are all laughing at her.  I get sent back for laughing.  My son yells, between laughs, “That’s not how you play!”  Finally, we’re having some fun.  And then, my daughter says, “I’m done playing that game.”  As usual, she’s calling the shots.

I’ve mentioned our bedtime ritual in previous posts.  Tonight, my son came up with a new game at bedtime.  He informed me that the game is called “Real Word, Nonsense Word.”  You have to say a real word, and then make up a nonsense word that rhymes with it.  Some examples:  neck, bleck; face, zace; wiggle, sliggle.

What turned out to be interesting about this game is that the learning opportunities happened when their second word, which was to be a nonsense word, was an actual word.  So, the times they accidentally broke the rules were most worthwhile.  They didn’t know what the word meant, or that it was a word, and so they learned something new.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m one of those rule follower kind of people.  Always have been.  But, sometimes, when winning doesn’t really matter, it’s more fun to forget the rules and just try to grab it all in one go.

 

 

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Make Room for Pink and Butterflies

When I was in my 20’s and my friends were having kids, I had in my mind that if and when I had kids, I would wait until my children were born to find out their gender.  I also decided, if I had a girl, I would not dress her or decorate her room in pink.  I mean, girls have so much working against them anyway, why start highlighting the differences at the beginning of life?

Well, things, change.  When I got pregnant, I couldn’t wait to find what I was having and did so at my first opportunity, both times.  I do not regret it.

I had a boy and then a girl.  While I would have been happy with two boys or two girls, I feel so very blessed to be able to raise one of each.  Truly, the experience of a lifetime.

I really thought the odds of our having a girl were practically nil, as my husband comes from a long line of only boys on his Dad’s side.  So, when we found out we were having a girl, I was shocked and thrilled.

I had already revised my opinion of all things girly before I found out I was having a girl.  What’s wrong with embracing femininity?  Nothing.  Men and women, boys and girls, are different.  Period.  And that is a beautiful thing.  I don’t wear a ton of make-up, but I need to do my hair and make-up to feel like myself.  I also like to wear dresses.  That said, I occasionally have to put on a hard hat and steel-toed boots at my current job.  Looking like a girl doesn’t mean I’m not capable.

For the first two weeks of my daughter’s life, she wore pink every single day.  I loved it.  My daughter loves her princess dresses, fingernail polish and dance class.  But, she also likes soccer, matchbox cars and my son’s toy tool bench.

My daughter’s room is decorated in butterflies.  I’ve kind of made that her signature symbol.  They’re beautiful and feminine.  But they also represent to me the wonderful process of maturity and growth.  When I see clothing in her size with a butterfly, I have to buy it.  When I see a butterfly, I think of her.  Thankfully, she likes them too.

I don’t impose being girly or not being girly on her.  I couldn’t if I wanted to.  She is very strong-willed.  Her favorite color changes multiple times a day.  Sometimes it is pink.  More often, it is not.  Sometimes she decides her favorite color is white, black, or gray.  She has her own mind, and she lets her opinions be known.  I’m just glad, in the process of trying to keep up with her big brother, she also makes room for pink and butterflies.

 

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Seven is the New Thirty

There was something about my son turning seven that I dreaded.  Doesn’t it seem like there are some ages that just sound so much older than just a year or two before?  Six still sounds like a little boy.  When you think of a 7-year-old boy, you think of a kid with a mind of his own, maybe even an obnoxious one (I do, anyway).

Maybe it’s because age seven is the first age I remember rather vividly.  I remember snippets from when I was younger than that, but my seventh birthday party seems like it was yesterday.

So, I dreaded it, but, of course, it came anyway.  And what changed?  Nothing.  At least not overnight.  Sure, he’s changing. But, he still likes to sit on my lap.  Only, now, he’s often reading the books to me, instead of the other way around.  I really enjoy seeing his reading improve, and watching him laugh when he reads a funny book, as he did tonight.

When he started school, I wondered how long it would take for him to be too cool for his Mama.  I was cautious of giving him too much affection in front of his classmates.  Last year, when I asked if he was too cool for me to give him a hug in front of the approaching school bus, he said it was okay.  I still have my baby!

Last year, I helped with his Valentine’s Day party.  I wasn’t sure how he would be with me there at school.  It was only kindergarten, but still, he was becoming more independent.  As I was talking to his teacher about what I needed to do, he walked up behind me, hugged my legs, and said, “I just love you.”  I was like the Grinch.  My heart grew three sizes that day.

I’m helping again this year, and he says he wants me to.  He still loves his Mama.  I know he always will, but surely there will come a time when he’s too cool to show it.

Still, much like my own 30th birthday, which I frankly dreaded for years, age seven wasn’t the dramatic change I expected (to read more about that, see my post Is There Anything Good About Getting Older?).  You would think I would learn.  As I’ve said before, I’m a slow learner.

 

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Have You Forgotten Your New Years Resolutions Yet?

A month ago, people were talking about setting goals and not setting goals.  I admit, I was thinking about it too. There is something about a new year that makes you feel you can accomplish anything.  That little sign on my way to work that I described in my previous post, Humility Prevent Humiliation,  says on one side, “New Year.  New Beginnings.”

The one that is top of mind for me and many others is losing weight.  The goal should be, eating healthier and getting in better shape.  I want to do that too, but it’s mostly vanity.  I have some things working against me.  I broke my back when I was younger.  The hardware in my back makes it almost impossible to develop any muscles in that area of my back, and that makes it tough to strengthen my core.  I used to do crunches, but they made my back hurt and frankly probably aren’t good for me anyway.  Planks, yoga, or squats while holding some weights are probably the best way to go.  Here, I have no excuse.  I’m lazy.

Having two kids at an “advanced maternal age” is not helping my stomach.  On top of that, I have an umbilical hernia that I have yet to have surgically corrected.  My days of bikinis are long behind me.  But, if I lost 20 lbs., that would surely make me feel better about my stomach.

But, it’s so daunting.  I know, I know.  I should make a lifestyle change.  Not just diet to lose weight.  But, I like pizza and tacos and cake and potato chips.  Let’s not forget chocolate, french fries and Chinese food.

I like diets that tell me exactly what to eat so I don’t have to track carbs, calories or points.  Have you ever tried a low-carb diet?  Talk about misery.  I love meat, but I need bread or crackers or something to feel full.  Between feeling hungry, tracking carbs and depriving myself of much of the food I really like, I focus on the diet ALL THE TIME.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been doing diets that specify what my meals are and allow me days when I can eat whatever I want.  My problem is consistency.  Whatever excuse I can come up with (some legitimate, some not so much) to take a couple weeks off, I will use it.

Okay – all of that said, I’m going to give myself a break.  I am still 8 lbs. down from where I was at my heaviest (other than pregnancy or the months following having a baby) two years ago.  That’s certainly better than gaining it back, or gaining it back and then some.  While that sense of renewed energy I, and many others, had at the new year has worn off, each day is a new day, so I won’t give up.

While those weight related goals are not bad to have, maybe there are some more important goals to set.  Goals that are good for our well-being and our souls.  Some can be immediately met.  Give to that charity you’ve been thinking about forever.  Go to church this Sunday.  Start reading that spiritual or positive book that’s been collecting dust.  Others take a longer commitment, maybe even a lifetime commitment.  Stop gossiping. Stop lying.  Read the Bible every day.  Make an ongoing effort to make my spouse feel loved.

I’ll focus on gossip for a bit.  In the past, I had no shame in talking about people behind their back, as long as I didn’t get caught.  As I’ve matured, I’ve realized how damaging gossip is.  Besides hurting your relationship with the object of gossip, it potentially hurts their relationship with others, and it damages your reputation more than you realize.  Scripture has a lot to say about gossip.  Here’s a harsh one.  Matthew 12:36 (ESV)  “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”  This one is a little gentler:  Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. ”

I bite my tongue a lot.  But not always.  Sometimes I’ll find an excuse to gossip.  “I have to work out this problem with this person by talking about it to someone else.”  Another excuse might be that this someone needs to know what this person is really like.  But, do I need to be the one to tell them?  What if I gave the person the benefit of the doubt, and gave them the chance to be at their best?

But, over the long-haul I’ve been improving.  As happens so often, the lyrics of a song keep running through my mind.  This time, it’s Matthew West’s Day One.  (We saw him in concert in December.  He was fantastic.  If you get the chance, don’t pass it up).  Here are some of the lyrics:

Well, I wish I had a short term memory
Wish the only thing my eyes could see
Was the future burning bright right in front of me
But I can’t stop looking back

Yeah, I wish I was a perfect picture of
Somebody who’s never not good enough
I try to measure up but I mess it up
And I wish I wasn’t like that

Every morning, every morning
Every morning, mercy’s new
Every morning, every morning
I will fix my eyes on You
Every morning, every morning
Every morning, mercy’s new
Every morning, every morning
Sun’s coming up, the beginning has begun, yeah

I improve.  I stumble.  I think I’m on a trajectory of cutting this destructive behavior out of my life altogether.  While I have the attitude of taking this change seriously, and not giving myself a pass for bad behavior, each new day brings new hope that I will be better than the day before.

 

 

 

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Baby Bonanza Giveaway!

Fantastic Giveaway for New and Expecting Mommies!

Sponsored By:

StachrisBaby PreferredAmaraKylie’s Crochet CornerLogic ProductsSimply Merino, and Handsocks

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive:

Over $248 in Baby Products from 7 Different Sponsors!

Plus, 6 out of the 7 prizes are Winner’s Choice! Details are listed under the descriptions…
Stachris is a family business that is named after their children. They work closely with moms to figure out their needs and wants, so that they can make their lives a little simpler. (Who doesn’t like the sound of that?!) They strive to bring quality-driven products at affordable prices. The cherry on top? Their products are super cute and fashionable! Gotta love that! Winner will receive a Diaper Bag Gift Set and can choose the color/pattern of the Car Seat Cover Gift Set, a $118.96 RV!  Check out my review here!
Baby Preferred offers adorable, affordable, functional baby consumer products with innovative solutions to meet the needs of today’s parents. We offer products such as carrier accessories, nursing pillow covers, Baby sleep helpers and more! Winner will their choice of either a Baby Carrier Cover, or Teething Drool Pads and Bib, both are a $34.99 RV!
They are a small family who is passionate about educating others about the amazing qualities of Merino wool. They wanted to dress their children in the best possible fabric, and therefore Simply Merino was started. Their range is very simple, as they wanted the natural qualities of the Merino wool to speak for themselves. The gowns and sleepers are wonderfully comfortable for infants and babies. And the two-piece sets they’ve designed can easily be worn as pajamas, thermal wear, or even as separates. It’s an easy material to care for; simply wash and dry. Winner will receive a Merino Wool Mittens in their choice of size and color, a $13.00 RV! Check out my review here!
Kylie is a creative mama who loves to make and design new items for the entire family. She specializes in unique, boutique baby photo props, but she can’t resist trying to make something for everyone, whether it be your sports fan dad, comic book loving brother, princess sister, or your fashionable mother. She is always open to custom requests, and there is a little love in every stitch! Winner will receive their choice of any product up to a $30 RV!

Logic Products

Logic Products is now a mom-approved lifestyle brand that fully discloses all ingredients in every product. Logic Products are made in the U.S.A. using plant and mineral derived ingredients. Their eco-friendly product lines include; Natural HomeLogic, TotLogic, BarkLogic and LiceLogic and are available nationwide. They guarantee their products to be safe and effective so you can focus on what’s really important, your family. Winner will receive any one product of their choice up to a $16.95 RV!

Amara

We all know how hard it is to make homemade baby food for your little one. Now, Amara brings you homemade, with all the nutrients, textures and tastes just like you would at home – but without the hassle. Winner will receive a taster pack of Amara Baby Foods including a sampling of our Tropical Mango; Oats n Berries; Banana flavors PLUS our superfood flavors Apple Maqui Berry and Kale Potato Mash, a $20 RV!

Handsocks

Casey, a mother of 2, invented a product originally intended for warmth and it turned into so much more. Now used for protection of all types, Handsocks is dedicated to being experts in protection from scratching for newborn to 3T aged children. Winner will receive a pair of Handsocks in their choice of color; blue, pink, gray, green, or jungle. A $15 RV!
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter Giveaway Dates ~ 1/30 12:01 AM EST through 2/20 11:59PM EST Good Luck!!
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received Stachris and Simply Merino products at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned reviews. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Little Pamphlet that Changed my Life

I’ve mentioned before that we have been terrible church-hoppers.  But, I believe God puts us where He wants us at any given time.  Hopefully, that will be in our permanent church home soon!

During our struggle with our search, we have attended some churches for extended periods of time – months or even years.  When we first moved to our current home, we attended a church in the nearest small city, about 10 miles away.  While we ultimately decided this church was not the one for us, during our time there, the Pastor presented a pamphlet that changed my life.

The pamphlet is called:  Seven Minutes with God:  How to Plan a Daily Quiet Time.  I find it easy to set goals, and while I usually don’t have a hard time getting started, sticking with real change is a challenge for me.  I had previously read the entire Bible.  It took years.  I would say I was still seeking then, and I didn’t retain much.  I wanted to continue to strengthen my relationship with God, but always felt pressure to read a lot at a time to feel like I was accomplishing something.  It became a daunting task.

This pamphlet opened my eyes.  In using this technique, I learned that sometimes its more valuable to read just a chapter, or even a paragraph and meditate on it, than to read several pages at a time.  By the way, if you’re interested in buying this pamphlet, it’s available from several places online.  Here you can buy a pack of 25 for $10.99:  christanbook.com.  Share it with your friends!  I am receiving no compensation for this – just wanted to let you know where you can get it, if you’re interested.

It was about four years ago that I read this pamphlet.  I don’t need to refer to it anymore.  I found it recently, but, of course now that I want to use it as a reference, I can’t locate it.  But, that’s okay.  I can still share what I have learned and retained from it after all of this time.

This is my memory of what was in the pamphlet, and it may not be 100% accurate.  I don’t worry too much about how much time is to be devoted to each area.  This is how my prayer time started, and some areas where it has grown, based on using the pamphlet as a guide.

Before I read the Bible, I pray for God to reveal His word to me.  I read for several minutes.  While I may only read a short passage at a time, I stick with one book, from beginning to end, so I can understand the whole context.  Sometimes it takes me several weeks to read a book this way, but that’s okay.  The structure of prayer that follows is:  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (petition or requests).

This was appealing to me, because I didn’t really know how to pray.  Often we just ask for things.  Adding all of these other aspects has really enriched my spiritual life.  I came up with an easy acronym – ACTS.  After using this for a while, I decided that I really needed to pray and meditate on the scripture I just read, so I changed the acronym to SACTS:  Scripture, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

When I pray about scripture, sometimes I pray for clarity.  Sometimes I thank God for caring about us enough to give us His word.  Sometimes I thank Him for the better understanding of Him that I’ve gained from a particular passage.

This has gotten me into a good routine of reading the Bible.  There are days that I’m running very late, or I think I’ll have more time later, so I put it off, and then forget altogether.  But, I would say I read the Bible 9 out of 10 days.  I used to attend a Business Women of Faith group, and one of the speakers, Amanda Hodge, talked about the importance of reading the Bible regularly.  Among other things, how are you going to know God is speaking to you if you don’t know His voice?  Reading His word is the only way to gain that familiarity.

When I was going through a really tough time, I began getting down on my knees.  When my prayers became less desperate, I decided to continue getting on my knees because I couldn’t think of a good reason not to.  It seemed like the most appropriate position for full surrender.

Occasionally, I’ll abandon this structure altogether, when I feel that it’s becoming too routine, and my time with God has stopped coming from the heart.  I think of Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (American King James version)

I admit to God that I don’t always know what to pray for, but that I will trust in His plan.  I trust that the Holy Spirit will intercede with what I really need, not what I think I want.

If you want a closer relationship with God, but don’t know where to begin, I recommend following the structure outlined in this pamphlet.  Surely your spiritual life will grow from there, but this is a great starting point.

 

 

 

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Locket of Love

Enter to win this romantic Giveaway! 

Sponsored By: PicturesOnGold.com

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive:

A Beautiful Locket from PicturesOnGold.com worth over $155!!

This .925 Solid Sterling Silver Locket has a cascade of hearts engraved on the center of the front side. It holds 2 photos and can be engraved on the reverse and inside. This locket will come with an 18 inch Sterling Silver Box chain and has a lobster claw. Comes with gift box and a Certificate of Authenticity! A $155+ RV!  
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter Giveaway Dates ~ 1/27 12:01 AM EST through 2/14 11:59PM EST Good Luck!!
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received nominal compensation to host this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Your Local Library May Have More to Offer Than You Realize

When was the last time you visited your local public library?  If someone had asked me that five years ago, I would have responded, “I have no idea.”

In August of 2012, I decided to try something new.  I began studying for the Series 7 and 66 exams to become a Financial Advisor.  I was 7 months pregnant and had a 2 1/2 year-old at home.  It was impossible to study at home, so I went to the local library.

We lived in a larger city then.  The library was just a few years old.  It was beautiful – it looked more like a museum than a library.  It even had a coffee shop.  I spent a lot of time in the coffee shop studying and eating cheese cake (I was eating for two, after all).

Other than talking to the owner of the coffee shop, I pretty much kept to myself.

I had my daughter in October, we moved in January, and I took and passed the Series 7 exam in February.  On to the next exam.  We had moved to the country, a few miles from a small town.  I looked online at the hours of the small-town library and I was a little shocked.  It was closed on Sunday and Monday, and the other days, it was open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Bizzario.

I later found out that the libraries in the other small, nearby towns had alternating hours with our library.  Okay.  I usually studied several hours a day, so I drove 10 miles the other way, to a bigger town/small city that had a library that was open all day.  Again, I pretty much kept to myself.  The library was older, and not nearly as nice as the one in our old town.  No coffee shop, and only on-street parking, with a two-hour limit.  Total pain in the rear.  I’d usually go to a coffee shop, with a view of the Mississippi River when my two hours was up.

At some point, I started going to our tiny library to study when I could catch them open.  There was only one table, and it was right in the middle of the small room, so I was pretty conspicuous.  I ended up spending a good portion of my study time chatting with the librarian.  When she was on vacation, I got to know the substitute.  I would also eavesdrop on the conversations of the locals.  Well, I guess it’s not really eavesdropping when people are speaking at full-volume.  Talking quietly is not a rule at this library.

I rather enjoyed the time in the library.  It made me feel like I was beginning to be a part of our little town.

In chatting with the librarian, I learned about some really cool things that were available – FOR FREE.  Well, it’s not really free, since it’s made available through my tax dollars.  But, I’m paying the taxes anyway, so I may as well make the most of it.

Our little library has a handful of decent movies for grown-ups, and quite a few books and movies for the kids.  But, it is quite small, so the selection is limited.  But here is the beautiful thing – it’s part of a network.  I can log onto their website and order anything within their library network, which includes universities and, I’m told, can even extend way beyond our area.  I have yet to search for any movie or book and find that it’s not available to me.  I may have to wait a while if it’s a newer release.  But, once I have it – unless it’s something in high demand – I get it for three weeks, and can usually renew, and keep it for an additional three weeks.  Can you imagine – borrowing a moving for free for six weeks!?  It’s awesome.

I started watching “The Good Wife” last year.  When I got close to the end of a season, I would order the next one.  I would get an email that the next season was ready for me to pick up.  I watched them back to back, all for free.

In October, I stopped at the library to pick something up, on our way to “Boo at the Zoo”.  The librarian commented about my kids’ costumes.  I told her where we were going (a couple weeks before Halloween, our zoo has a weekend when kids wear their costumes and businesses set up stations where they give away candy and other goodies, etc.).  She told me that the library had a membership to the zoo that was available to borrow for a week.  What?!  Not only did we get into the zoo for free that day, I discovered that the library also has free passes to most of the local museums.  How cool!

I had heard about some libraries even offering cake pans.  I did a search and found that our network does not, but indeed some do.  I found this article about libraries in Maine:  Maine libraries write new chapter on lending.  Not only do they offer cake pans, but you can borrow American Girl Dolls and recreational gear, such as fishing poles and croquet sets.  Who knew?

Why not check it out?  You only have a little time to lose, and plenty to gain!

 

 

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